Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra

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The Berlin Philharmonic (formerly known as the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra ) is a symphony orchestra . They are considered to be one of the world's leading ensembles.

The orchestra, which has existed since 1882, has been organized as a foundation under public law under the sponsorship of the State of Berlin since 2002 . The Berliner Philharmoniker currently has 128 permanent positions. After the old main building was destroyed in 1944 during the Second World War , the new Berlin Philharmonic designed by Hans Scharoun on Kemperplatz in Berlin-Tiergarten has been the home of the ensemble since 1963 .


Berlin Philharmonic, main entrance

The conductor Johann Ernst Benjamin Bilse (1816–1902) from the Silesian Liegnitz can be regarded as the ancestor of the Berlin Philharmonic . The former member of the band of Johann Strauss (father) put together an orchestra in 1867, with which he regularly gave concerts in the newly built Concerthaus on Leipziger Straße . The so-called “Bilse Concerts” were soon extremely popular. Increasingly, however, Bilse also included so-called serious music in the repertoire of his ensemble. Richard Wagner became a prominent guest conductor .

At the beginning of January 1882, the Meininger Hofkapelle , led by Hans von Bülow and at the time the leading orchestra in the German-speaking world, gave a concert in the Sing-Akademie zu Berlin . This appearance was enthusiastically celebrated by the press. The Berliner Zeitung wrote: “Perhaps this success will prompt certain circles to assign the great conductor to a different desk than in Meiningen. We don't need to express ourselves more clearly. ”The public agreed to the demand to create a representative orchestra for the new capital of Berlin under the direction of the outstanding artist Hans von Bülow.

A few months later there was a revolt in the Bilse Chapel. Bilse had obtained fourth grade tickets for a concert trip to Warsaw , which annoyed the otherwise underpaid musicians, and 54 of them decided to found their own orchestra, which they wanted to rule and administer themselves. They committed themselves to "mutual inviolable cohesion" and to personal liability for the expenses of the ensemble. May 1, 1882 was the day the new orchestra was founded. Since 1991, the Philharmonic has been commemorating this day with the European Concert on May 1st . This takes place at a place in Europe that is important in terms of cultural history and is broadcast worldwide by radio and television companies.

The names of the chief conductors (chronological):

Ludwig von Brenner

The first concerts of the newly founded orchestra took place under the name “Earlier Bilse Chapel” in the Charlottenburg garden bar “Flora”. The artistic director was Ludwig von Brenner . As with Bilse, mostly light music was played. In the summer of 1882 the concert agent Hermann Wolff took over the organization of the orchestra, which from then on was called the “Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra”. Wolff found a former roller-skating rink in Bernburger Strasse as a permanent venue for the Philharmonic.

In the same year Wolff introduced subscription concerts for an educated audience - the "Philharmonic Concerts".

Sing-Akademie -Direktor Martin Blumner wrote about the quality of the new orchestra at the time: “With a very gratifying success it worked for us for the first time in October of the same year (1882) in my oratorio 'Der Fall Jerusalems', such a beautiful, pure echo showing such excellent musical security as we had sorely missed for a long time ”.

Influential conductors in the early years were Franz Wüllner , Karl Klindworth and the violinist Joseph Joachim . Guest conductors during this period were Johannes Brahms in 1884 , Peter Tschaikowski in 1888 and Edvard Grieg in 1889 , who performed their own works.

Several days a week, "popular concerts" continued under the direction of other conductors so that the musicians could make a living.

Hans von Bülow

Hans von Bülow

In 1887, Wolff finally hired Hans von Bülow (1830-1894) as chief conductor , who, as a student of Friedrich Wieck , Franz Liszt and Richard Wagner, was recognized on the international stage both as a conductor and as a pianist. As court music director from 1880 to 1887, he had formed the Meiningen court orchestra into a top orchestra that toured throughout Germany. “Bülow was a pioneer in terms of changing the role of conductor. While this used to be primarily a beat of the beat in the sense of an orientation aid for the orchestra musicians, he now appeared as an interpreter. According to Bülow, his task was now to 'bring the hidden into the daylight.' ”Bülow introduced an iron discipline to the Berliner Philharmoniker. In hours of hard rehearsals he formed the ensemble into Germany's elite orchestra during his tenure. "Bülow demanded the highest concentration of himself and those entrusted to him, holy seriousness for a holy task, attention to every note as to the whole ...".

Bülow succeeded in ensuring that no food and drinks could be served or consumed during his concerts. There were also no conversations, and smoking was prohibited. Famous, sometimes notorious, were Bülow's speeches to the audience, in which he commented not only on the works on display, but sometimes also on daily and cultural politics. "Sometimes his approaches to the audience were also non-verbal. They were aimed at women swinging fans, whom he used to stare at until they let their arms drop."

On January 15, 1888, the “Berliner Courier” wrote about one of Bülow's concerts: “How he stands there, the sharp profile turned sideways, the Klemmer on his nose, how he leads the tact stick in secure, steady pulls from the first moment [... ] as if it were a magic wand in his hand [...] he lifts the player up to him, elicits the tone he wants. [...] How this only conductor leads the orchestra by his magic wand [...] is difficult to describe ... ".

In 1888 the former roller-skating rink was converted into the Philharmonie as a seated concert hall without tables.

Bülow led the orchestra until 1893. Two years followed without a chief conductor until Arthur Nikisch took over the office. Richard Strauss conducted most of the concerts in the meantime .

The Berlin Philharmonic has been awarding the Hans von Bülow Medal since the 1970s . In doing so, the orchestra honors its first chief conductor, Hans von Bülow, as well as musicians - especially conductors - for their solidarity with the orchestra. So far the medal has been awarded to: Eugen Jochum , Herbert von Karajan , Bernard Haitink , Günter Wand , Nikolaus Harnoncourt , Hans Werner Henze , Claudio Abbado , Wolfgang Sawallisch , Georg Solti , Alfred Brendel , Claudio Arrau , Zubin Mehta , Daniel Barenboim , Seiji Ozawa , Lorin Maazel , Lovro von Matačić , Mariss Jansons , Erich Hartmann , Vicco von Bülow ( Loriot ), Rudolf Serkin , Yehudi Menuhin , Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau , Wolfgang Stresemann , Hans Heinz Stuckenschmidt .

Arthur Nikisch

In 1895, the native Hungarian Arthur Nikisch (1855–1922) was appointed chief conductor "for life". He held this office for 27 years.

Nikisch led the Philharmonic to European fame. Guest tours have taken the Philharmonic to Russia , Switzerland , Belgium , France , Italy , Spain and Portugal . International stars such as Pablo de Sarasate , Eugène Ysaÿe , Fritz Kreisler , Pau Casals and the 11-year-old child prodigy Jascha Heifetz made guest appearances with the Philharmonic.

In 1913 the Philharmonic recorded a full symphony for Deutsche Grammophon for the first time in the history of the record ; Beethoven's Fifth was recorded under Nikisch's direction and pressed onto four shellac records.

Wilhelm Furtwängler

Portrait of Wilhelm Furtwängler drawn by Emil Orlik , 1928

After Nikisch's death in 1922, Wilhelm Furtwängler (1886–1954), until then director of the State Opera Unter den Linden , was hired as the new chief conductor. Under Furtwängler, one of the leading conductor personalities of the first half of the 20th century, the Berlin Philharmonic achieved world renown. Numerous works by well-known composers such as Rachmaninoff , Prokofiev , Stravinsky and Ravel were premiered by the orchestra. A high point during the 1920s was the appearance of the child prodigy Yehudi Menuhin with the Philharmonic under Bruno Walter's direction in 1929 , where the twelve-year-old played violin concertos by Bach (E major), Beethoven and Brahms .

Furtwängler felt primarily connected to the Viennese classical and late romantic periods and went down in music history as the great interpreter of German musical heritage. He understood interpretation as an act of musical re-creation. In 1934 he wrote in an essay: “Imagine the situation of the creator: His starting point is nothing, so to speak chaos; its end the finished work. The way there, that is ... the 'taking shape' of chaos, takes place in the act of improvisation. ”This also manifested itself in Furtwängler's suggestive drawing. “In this way the music appeared in its original lack of presuppositions; Well-known symphonies were experienced in a completely new way. "Werner Thärichen, timpanist of the Philharmonic, described the Furtwängler phenomenon as follows:" ... that one person could put the orchestra and all listeners in such a frenzy was beyond belief. In London, the visitors jumped from their seats during the concert: They were beside themselves, dazed, electrified. "

When the economic recession threatened the orchestra's existence in the early 1930s, the city of Berlin , the German Reich and the radio took over the financial guarantees in 1932 . In return, the Philharmonic had to undertake to give popular symphony concerts and school concerts.

After the National Socialist seizure of power in 1933, the Reich took over the financial security of the orchestra. For the first time, the Philharmonic was no longer a wage orchestra, but was subsidized by the state and could therefore do without the annoying “popular concerts”. As such a German model orchestra, they - and with them Furtwängler - could be seen as representatives of the Nazi state.

In 1934 Furtwängler performed music by the banned Mendelssohn with the Philharmonic Orchestra , conducted the world premiere of Paul Hindemith's symphony Mathis der Maler and publicly defended the composer Hindemith, who was considered “ degenerate ”. In the course of the resulting scandal, he was forced to resign from all offices in the same year. In future he only conducted the Philharmonic as a guest conductor. From 1934 to 1952 the orchestra formally had no chief conductor. In 1935 the Philharmonic performed Mendelssohn's violin concerto with the virtuoso Georg Kulenkampff under the baton of Max Fiedler .

After the Wolff concert agency had dissolved itself in 1935 in order to forestall an impending " Aryanization ", the position of artistic director was created. The first was Hans von Benda . He was succeeded in 1939 by Gerhart von Westerman , who held this position until 1959 with one interruption between 1945 and 1952.

The last concert of the Philharmonic before the end of the war took place on April 16, 1945 in the Beethovensaal, the first after the war on May 26, 1945 in the Steglitz Titania Palace , a converted cinema. It was conducted by the native Russian Leo Borchard (1899-1945), as Furtwängler had been classified as politically charged by the American occupation forces and, although never a party member, was banned from performing until the end of a denazification process . Borchard, however, was mistakenly shot on August 23, 1945 by an American occupation soldier on the British-American sector border . His successor as chief conductor of the Philharmonic was Sergiu Celibidache , who was still completely unknown at the time . On August 29, 1945, he celebrated a debut success without any conducting experience or a well-developed repertoire.

In the spring of 1947, Furtwängler was back at the podium of the Philharmonic after his performance ban had been lifted. On September 30, 1947, Yehudi Menuhin demonstrated demonstratively at the side of the hostile Furtwängler in the Titania Palace and played Beethoven's violin concerto with the Philharmonic . Furtwängler and Celibidache were joint artistic directors of the orchestra for the following years. In 1948 the orchestra traveled to England with Furtwängler and Celibidache on its first international tour after the war.

In 1952 the Philharmonic was taken over by the State of Berlin and Furtwängler received a contract as chief conductor for life.

Sergiu Celibidache

Sergiu Celibidache as conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic in 1946

From 1945 until Wilhelm Furtwängler's return in 1952, Sergiu Celibidache led   the Berlin Philharmonic ad interim . In contrast to Furtwängler and especially Herbert von Karajan , Celibidache was extremely “technophobic”, which was expressed, among other things, in the fact that he categorically rejected recordings. One of his favorite soloists was the Croatian pianist Branka Musulin .

Herbert von Karajan

Statue of Herbert von Karajan in the garden of his birthplace in Salzburg

After Furtwängler's death in November 1954, Herbert von Karajan (1908–1989) was elected chief conductor. He led the orchestra for 34 years, longer than anyone. In 1963, during Karajan's tenure, the newly built Philharmonie , built by Hans Scharoun , was opened.

"If Furtwängler was the conductor personality of the first half of the 20th century, Karajan was without a doubt the great conductor of the second half." Karajan's kick-offs were exact, but instead he refrained from giving inserts in order to force the musicians to optimally listen to each other. Most of the time he conducted with his eyes closed. "The famous full and silky sound of the Berliner Philharmoniker, which has become its trademark, only unfolded in all its glory under his leadership."

Karajan was very fascinated by the technology. He viewed his orchestra as an instrument of perfection that he wanted to perfect more and more. Numerous recordings were made under his direction, mainly from the repertoire of the Viennese Classic and Romantic periods . This included the complete recording of the Beethoven symphonies produced in 1961/62, which was the world's first orchestral production on stereo record. It was thanks to Karajan's fascination for technology that the Philharmonic Orchestra was among the first to test the digital recording process from 1980. In 1982, one of the world's first audio CDs was produced from her recording of Richard Strauss' Alpine Symphony . In the same year, for the 100th anniversary of the Berliner Philharmoniker, 50 records with 100 masterpieces were released under the name Serie Galerie under his direction with world-famous soloists and concert singers. Previously unpublished pictures, painted by his wife, Eliette von Karajan, were used as record covers and picture supplements .

Herbert von Karajan founded the Salzburg Easter Festival in 1967, with the Berlin Philharmonic until 2012. Among other things, Wagner's entire Ring des Nibelungen , Beethoven's Fidelio and numerous popular operas by Verdi and Puccini were developed and recorded there. He also initiated the Salzburg Whitsun Concerts in 1973 .

Well-known director of the Philharmoniker in the Karajan era was Wolfgang Stresemann from 1959 to 1978 and from 1984 to 1986 , who also wrote books about the Philharmoniker and Karajan. Due to health problems and differences with the orchestra and Berlin politicians, Karajan announced his resignation in April 1989; he died of a heart attack on July 16 of the same year.

Claudio Abbado

Claudio Abbado 2008 as a guest conductor on the occasion of a forest stage concert of the orchestra

Karajan's successor was Claudio Abbado (1933–2014), who conducted the orchestra for the first time in 1966. Abbado set new accents. Each season was dedicated to a specific theme: the poetry of Hölderlin , Goethe's Faust , Greek antiquity , Shakespeare , Alban Berg and Georg Büchner , Der Wanderer , Tristan and Isolde - the myth of love and death and music is fun on earth . Its last season was under the motto: "Here, time becomes space - Parsifal cycle".

During Abbado's tenure, the orchestra was significantly rejuvenated; more than half of the musicians in today's line-up were newly recorded during this time. In February 1998 Abbado declared that he did not want to extend his contract, which ran until 2002.

Simon Rattle

Sir Simon Rattle conducts Wagner's Rheingold in concert with the Berliner Philharmoniker (2006)

In June 1999 the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra elected the Briton Simon Rattle (* 1955) as its chief conductor. Rattle can be regarded as one of the most charismatic conductor personalities of our time. He first conducted the Philharmonic in 1987.

When Rattle took office in 2002, the orchestra was reorganized, which until then had led a kind of double life. On the one hand, there was the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra with the status of a subordinate authority that was subordinate to the Senator for Culture. On the other hand, the Berlin Philharmonic also existed as a civil law society , which primarily made recordings and thus generated additional income that benefited the musicians, but not the city of Berlin. Both organizations were dissolved and transferred to the Berlin Philharmonic Foundation under public law , which is supported primarily by Deutsche Bank as the main sponsor. This reorganization was u. a. been a condition of Rattle's inauguration.

From September 2010 to summer 2017, Martin Hoffmann was Artistic Director of the Berliner Philharmoniker. Andrea Zietzschmann took over the post of artistic director for the 2017/18 season. The orchestra's Easter Festival has been taking place in Baden-Baden since 2013 .

Kirill Petrenko

Kirill Petrenko during the concert at the Brandenburg Gate on August 24, 2019

To elect the successor to Simon Rattle, a “ conclave ” of the orchestra took place on May 11, 2015 , which lasted eleven hours, but after extensive deliberations and several rounds of voting came to no result. On June 22, 2015, it was announced at a press conference that Kirill Petrenko , who is still under contract at the Bavarian State Opera until 2020 , has been elected to succeed Simon Rattle. After his first concert on August 23, 2019, he conducted a day later before the Brandenburg Gate , the 9th Symphony of Beethoven .

Sound technology in recordings and live broadcasts

Since the Karajan era, the Berliner Philharmoniker have always made use of the current possibilities of sound technology .

With the Digital Concert Hall , the orchestra has made entire concerts available online in live recordings since 2008. Since July 2014, not only current, but also edited historical recordings, e.g. B. those from the Karajan and Abbado era are available. The offer is chargeable.

In 2014 the orchestra founded its own label Berliner Philharmoniker Recordings.


The orchestra's recordings have won numerous awards, including the following:

Echo classic

  • 2003: recording of choral works
Simon Rattle : Schönberg , Gurrelieder . Participants: Rundfunkchor Berlin , MDR-Rundfunkchor Leipzig , Ernst Senff Choir Berlin . Soloists: Karita Mattila (soprano), Anne Sofie von Otter (mezzo-soprano), Thomas Moser , Philip Langridge (tenor), Thomas Quasthoff (bass-baritone, speaker) (EMI, 2002)
  • 2006: Music DVD Production of the Year
Simon Rattle, Thomas Grube and Enrique Sánchez Lansch (director), Uwe Dierks (producer): Rhythm Is It! (2005)
  • 2006: Symphonic recording
Claudio Abbado : Mahler , Symphony No. 6 (DGG, 2005)
  • 2012: Symphonic recording of the year (20th / 21st century)
Simon Rattle: Arnold Schönberg (EMI Classics)
  • 2016: orchestra / ensemble
Simon Rattle: Sibelius , symphonies 1–7 (Berliner Philharmoniker Recordings, 2015)

Grammy Award

  • 1970 : Best Opera Recording (Best Opera Recording)
Herbert von Karajan : Wagner , Siegfried . Soloists: Helga Dernesch , Gerhard Stolze , Jess Thomas (DGG, 1969)
  • 1979 : Best classical orchestral performance (Best Orchestral Performance)
Herbert von Karajan: Beethoven , symphonies 1–9 (complete recording) (DGG, 1978)
  • 1993 : Best classical album (Best Classical Album) and Best Orchestral Performance (Best Orchestral Performance)
Leonard Bernstein : Mahler, Symphony No. 9 (DGG, 1992, recording 1979)
  • 1995 : Best chamber music performance (Best Chamber Music Performance)
Daniel Barenboim : Beethoven / Mozart, quintets (Chicago-Berlin) Soloists: Dale Clevenger , Larry Combs , Daniele Damiano , Hansjörg Schellenberger (1994)
  • 1998 : Best Small Ensemble Performance (Best Small Ensemble Performance)
Claudio Abbado: Hindemith: Chamber Music No. 1 with Finale 1921, Op. 24 No. 1 (with members of the Berliner Philharmoniker) (EMI, 1996)
  • 2000 : Best Classical Vocal Performance (Best Classical Vocal Performance)
Claudio Abbado: Mahler: Des Knaben Wunderhorn . Soloists: Anne Sofie von Otter , Thomas Quasthoff (DGG, 1999)
  • 2001 : Best orchestral performance (Best Orchestral Performance)
Simon Rattle: Mahler, Symphony No. 10 , version by Deryck Cooke (EMI, 2000)
  • 2007 : Best solo instrument performances with orchestra (Best Instrumental Soloist (s) Performance With Orchestra)
Antonio Pappano : Rachmaninoff , Piano Concertos No. 1 and 2 . Soloist: Leif Ove Andsnes (EMI, 2006)

"The Gramophone" magazine

  • 1981: " Orchestral Record of the Year"
Herbert von Karajan: Mahler, Symphony No. 9 (DGG, 1980)
  • 1984: " Record of the Year"
Herbert von Karajan: Mahler, Symphony No. 9 (DGG, 1984, live recording from 1982)
  • 2000: " Orchestral Record of the Year"
Sir Simon Rattle: Mahler, Symphony No. 10 (EMI, 2000)
  • 2004: "Concert" (Concerto)
Mariss Jansons : Grieg , piano concerto and Robert Schumann , piano concerto . Soloist: Leif Ove Andsnes (EMI, 2004)
  • 2006: " Record of the Year"
Claudio Abbado: Mahler, Symphony No. 6 (DGG, 2005)

"Classical BRIT Awards"

  • 2001: Ensemble / Orchestral Album of the Year
Simon Rattle: Mahler, Symphony No. 10 (EMI, 2000)
  • 2003: Ensemble / Orchestral Album of the Year
Simon Rattle: Mahler, Symphony No. 5 (EMI, 2002)
  • 2007: Classical Recording of the Year
Simon Rattle: Holst , The Planets (EMI, 2006)

"International Classical Music Awards" (ICMA)

  • 2016: Symphonic
Simon Rattle: Jean Sibelius , symphonies 1–7 (Berliner Philharmoniker Recordings, 2015)
  • 2017: Symphonic
Claudio Abbado : The Last Concert (Berliner Philharmoniker Recordings, 2016)

Diapason magazine

Simon Rattle: Bach , St. Matthew Passion (Berliner Philharmoniker Recordings, 2014)
  • 2015: Diapason D'Or Arte
Nikolaus Harnoncourt : Franz Schubert (Berliner Philharmoniker Recordings, 2015)
  • 2015: Diapason D'Or Arte
Simon Rattle: Bach , Johannes Passion (Berliner Philharmoniker Recordings, 2014)
  • 2016: Diapason D'Or de l'année 2016
Simon Rattle: Beethoven , symphonies 1–9 (Berliner Philharmoniker Recordings, 2016)

"Timbre de platine" from "Opéra International" magazine

Chart placements


year title Top ranking, total weeks, awardChart placementsChart placements
(Year, title, rankings, weeks, awards, notes)
1963 Beethoven - 9 symphonies DE21 (4 weeks)
- -
2000 Moment Of Glory DE3

(17 weeks)DE
- CH48 (8 weeks)
with Scorpions
2003 Karajan Forever - AT54 (4 weeks)
with Herbert von Karajan
2005 Carmina Burana - Carl Orff DE34 (4 weeks)
- -
2006 The parfume, the story of a murderer DE74 (4 weeks)
AT66 (3 weeks)
Soundtrack; with Simon Rattle
2008 The Legend - AT58 (3 weeks)
with Herbert von Karajan
Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition /
Borodin: Symphony No. 2, Polovtsian Dances /
New Year's Eve Concert 2
DE93 (1 week)
- -
with Simon Rattle
Karajan gold DE31 (6 weeks)
AT49 (2 weeks)
with Herbert von Karajan
2013 Centenary Edition DE89 (1 week)
- -
Dvořák DE84 (2 weeks)
- -

gray hatching : no chart data available for this year


year Title
Top ranking, total weeks, awardChart placementsChart placements
(Year, title, album , rankings, weeks, awards, notes)
2000 Moment of Glory
Moment of Glory
DE67 (9 weeks)
- -
with Scorpions

Awards for music sales

Silver record

Golden record

  • GermanyGermany Germany
    • 1983: for the album Hifi Karajan
  • FinlandFinland Finland
    • 1982: for the album Sibelius Finlandia
  • SwitzerlandSwitzerland Switzerland
    • 2000: for the album Die Zauberflöte (Mozart)
  • United StatesUnited States United States
    • 1977: for the album Beethoven: The 9 Symphonies

Note: Awards in countries from the chart tables or chart boxes can be found in these.

Country / Region Silver record icon.svg silver Gold record icon.svg gold Platinum record icon.svg platinum Sales swell
Awards for music sales
(country / region, awards, sales, sources)
Germany (BVMI) Germany (BVMI) 0! S.- Gold record icon.svg 2 × gold2 0! P- 400,000
Finland (IFPI) Finland (IFPI) 0! S.- Gold record icon.svg gold1 0! P- 25,000
Switzerland (IFPI) Switzerland (IFPI) 0! S.- Gold record icon.svg gold1 0! P- 25,000
United States (RIAA) United States (RIAA) 0! S.- Gold record icon.svg gold1 0! P- 500,000
United Kingdom (BPI) United Kingdom (BPI) Silver record icon.svg silver1 0! G- 0! P- 60,000
All in all Silver record icon.svg silver1 Gold record icon.svg 5 × gold5 -


Many musicians in the Berliner Philharmoniker take care of the next generation of orchestras as part of the Karajan Academy .

Several chamber music ensembles have emerged from the ranks of the Berliner Philharmoniker, such as The 12 Cellists , the Philharmonia Quartet Berlin , the Philharmonisches Bläserquintett Berlin or the Scharoun Ensemble in classical octet formation (clarinet, bassoon, horn, two violins, viola, cello and double bass) .

A special feature has been the final concert of each season for many years. It takes place in the open air in front of around 20,000 listeners in the Berlin Waldbühne , is broadcast on television and ends with Linckes Berliner Luft (from Ms. Luna ).

Since the 2010/11 season, concerts by the Berliner Philharmoniker have been regularly broadcast live in cinemas in Germany and other European countries.

Loriot alias Vicco von Bülow, who was connected to the orchestra through his distant relative Hans von Bülow, the first chief conductor, "conducted" the Berliner Philharmoniker on two occasions: in 1979 on the occasion of the Chancellor Festival and in 1982 at the humorous festival concert for the orchestra's 100th birthday. He also created his narrative version of Saint-Saëns ' Carnival of the Animals for the Scharoun Ensemble, a chamber music ensemble of the Berlin Philharmonic .


  • Johannes Althoff: The Philharmonic. Berlin-Edition, Berlin 2002, ISBN 3-8148-0035-4 .
  • Misha Aster: "The Reichsorchester". The Berlin Philharmonic and National Socialism. Siedler, Munich 2007 ISBN 978-3-88680-876-2 (From the Canadian English: The Reichs Orchestra. Mosaic Press, Oakville 2008)
  • Berliner Philharmonisches Orchester (Ed.): Berliner Philharmonischer 1882. 1982. Philharmonischer Almanach. I. Berlin 1982. (Ed.):
  • Berliner Philharmoniker (Editor): Variations with Orchestra - 125 Years of the Berliner Philharmoniker. Henschel, Berlin 2007, ISBN 978-3-89487-568-8 .
    • Volume 1: Orchestra History
    • Volume 2: Biographies and Concerts
  • Dieter Blum, Jürgen Dormann, Wolfgang Behnken: Berliner Philharmoniker. Edition Braus published by Wachter Verlag, Heidelberg 2007, ISBN 978-3-89904-274-0 .
  • Michael Custodis , Chapter: Moment of Glory - The Scorpions and the Berliner Philharmoniker ; Innovation potential. Heiner Goebbels Surrogate Cities at Zukunft @ BPhil . In: Classical Music Today. A search for clues in rock music. transcript, Bielefeld 2009, ISBN 978-3-8376-1249-3 .
  • Herbert Haffner: The Berlin Philharmonic. A biography. Schott, Mainz 2007, ISBN 978-3-7957-0590-9 .
  • Angela Hartwig: Rattle at the door: Sir Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic 2002 to 2008. Evrei, Berlin 2009, ISBN 978-3-00-028093-1 .
  • Friedrich Herzfeld : The Berlin Philharmonic. Rembrandt, Berlin 1960.
  • Ursula Klein: 100 years of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. History and stories of a famous symphony orchestra. In: Berlin Forum. 3, Berlin 1982.
  • Annemarie Kleinert: Berliner Philharmoniker. From Karajan to Rattle. Jaron, Berlin 2005, ISBN 3-89773-131-2 ( online ).
  • Werner Oehlmann : The Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Bärenreiter, Kassel 1974, ISBN 3-7618-0416-4 .
  • Wolfgang Stresemann : Philharmonic and Philharmonic. Stapp, Berlin 1977, ISBN 3-87776-518-1 .
  • Wolfgang Stresemann: ... and in the evening to the Philharmonie. Memories of great conductors. Kristall, Munich 1981, ISBN 3-607-00045-X .
  • Werner Thärichen: Bangs. Furtwängler or Karajan. M & T, Zurich / Berlin 1987, ISBN 3-7265-6011-4 .
  • Fritz Trümpi : The Vienna Philharmonic and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra under National Socialism. Böhlau, Vienna / Cologne / Weimar 2011, ISBN 978-3-205-78657-3 .


  • Philharmonic , music film by Paul Verhoeven (1944)
  • The Berlin Philharmonic Story. The story of a great orchestra. Documentary, 2001, 60 min., Director: Günter Atteln, production: EuroArts / Naxos
  • Rhythm Is It! Documentary, 2004, 100 min., Written and directed by Thomas Grube and Enrique Sánchez Lansch
  • The world famous. 125 years of the Berlin Philharmonic. Documentation, director: Günter Atteln, production: RBB , first broadcast: August 26, 2007
  • The Reich Orchestra. The Berlin Philharmonic and National Socialism. Documentary, 2007, 90 min., Director: Enrique Sánchez Lansch , production: Eikon Film ( summary )
  • Trip to Asia : The Quest for Harmony. Documentary, Feb. 2008, 108 min., Film by Thomas Grube , production: Boomtownmedia ( film website )
  • Berliner Philharmoniker in Singapore - A Musical Journey in 3D. Documentary, 2011, 105 min., Director: Michael Beyer

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Quoted from Wolfgang Stresemann: Philharmonie und Philharmoniker. Berlin 1977, p. 38 f.
  2. European Concert 2018
  3. ^ Martin Blumner: History of the Sing-Akademie zu Berlin. An offer for the secular celebration on May 24, 1891 , Verlag Horn & Raasch, Berlin 1891, p. 177
  4. ^ Johannes Althoff: The Philharmonic. Berlin 2002, p. 20.
  5. ^ Wolfgang Stresemann: Philharmonic and Philharmonic. Berlin 1977, p. 46.
  6. ^ Johannes Althoff: The Philharmonic. Berlin 2002, p. 23.
  7. Quoted by Midou Grossmann: Hans von Bülow - The first desk star. In: Die Tonkunst , January 1, 2005 ( PDF (PDF)).
  8. ↑ Great moments in record history, November 4, 2013.
  9. Quoted from Werner Oehlmann: The Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Kassel 1974. p. 68.
  10. ^ Johannes Althoff: The Philharmonic. Berlin 2002, p. 29.
  11. Werner Thärichen: Bangs. Furtwängler or Karajan. Zurich-Berlin 1987, p. 92ff.
  12. ^ Johannes Althoff: The Philharmonic. Berlin 2002, p. 30.
  13. Fred K. Prieberg: Trial of strength. Wilhelm Furtwängler in the Third Reich. Wiesbaden 1986, p. 156.
  14. ^ Johannes Althoff: The Philharmonic. Berlin 2002, p. 32.
  15. Fred K. Prieberg: Trial of strength. Wilhelm Furtwängler in the Third Reich. Wiesbaden 1986, p. 162.
  16. Fred K. Prieberg: Trial of strength. Wilhelm Furtwängler in the Third Reich. Wiesbaden 1986, pp. 168-170.
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